There are 16 million unpaid family and friend caregivers in America for loved ones with Alzheimer's and other dementias. They provided 18.4 billion hours of care in 2017. As seniors age and those affected by Alzheimer's is projected to soar to 13.8 million by 2050, the number of caregivers will skyrocket.
Why About Face?
Our lives turned upside down in 2004 when my Father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In 20011 I left my life and work in Washington D.C. and moved in with my parents in Georgia to help my Mother as a caregiver for my Father.
When you hear the word “Alzheimer’s”, it’s like a death sentence has been passed onto your loved one. Feelings of frustration, depression, anxiety and hopelessness swirl around you. But I’ve learned that I have a choice to make. I can either dwell on what my Father has lost, or I can focus on what he still has. It’s a choice I must make every day. I’ve decided to choose the latter and cherish the moments that I still have with my Father.
I don’t sugarcoat caregiving. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had and I’m transparent about the struggles. But when I focus on the positive and give the burden of the disease and the stress of caregiving over to God, my load is lighter, my perspective is brighter and I see things I’ve never seen before. Those are the gems.
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